Although for the children in your life, Christmas can be a magical time. For parents, it can become quite stressful.
Add a newborn baby into the mix (or in my case, a new puppy – everyone, meet Ruby!) and there is the potential for Christmas to descend into chaos!
So, today I wanted to share some tips on how to cope at Christmas with a new baby (or puppy).
Hopefully, these tips will help you to ensure that you still have a wonderful time despite the extra pressures you may be under as a new parent or pup-parent.
A new pup or baby certainly changes the dynamics in even the most harmonious of households! So, naturally, you can expect that this Christmas won’t necessarily pad out as it has in previous years.
Having a new pup in our house these past few days has already proven to have ruffled a few feathers (sorry, Scamp – we still love you too!). And if you’ve a new baby, chances are you’ll find the same.
The key to a great Christmas is to not try to be super-mum or dad, and to take everything at the pace that feels comfortable for you.
Becoming a parent is a big deal! And just because it’s Christmas time, you shouldn’t feel that you should rush around trying to coordinate an unforgettable Christmas for the rest of the family.
Accept that things will take longer to do. And you won’t be able to manage everything that you’re used to single-handedly while also caring for your newborn throughout the day and night.
Keep your focus on you and your baby. You should come first in these important first few weeks.
If it takes you hours to get up and out of bed in the morning, so be it! Enjoy your skin to skin time, get some rest when you can and just enjoy this special time as a new family.
I’d also recommend that you make it known to immediate family, any other children you have and any visiting relatives or friends that things will be a little different to usual this Christmas. Remind others that you have additional commitments now as a new parent and that certain things are going to have to give for a while.
For example, you may not want or be able to leave the house or to travel long distances, with a new baby or pup in tow. And you’ll probably be more distracted than you have been in the past. You won’t be able to be as sociable or hands-on as you normally are.
Older children in the family may feel that they’ve become less important to you since the new arrival, so tackle this in advance and you’ll prevent upsetting them.
Ensure they realise that this initial phase is short-lived and that everything will soon be back to normal. And work with your partner to find ways to ensure their Christmas experience is not affected negatively as a result of the disruption that comes with becoming a new parent again.
Remember people aren’t mind readers. So, don’t be afraid to tell your children, husband, friends or family how they can help you.
Encourage others to get involved with baby-related (or pup-related) tasks if that’s what you want (or not, if it isn’t!). Or, direct them to the kitchen where they could make themselves useful in other ways.
I’ve found that Ruby has taken a lot more of my time than I had anticipated, and it’s often the same with a baby. Just someone offering to take Scamp – our other dog – for a walk, or to help cook, clean or make me a cup of tea has been a great help.
It’s usually the case that when a new baby or puppy joins the family everyone wants to come and meet him or her and have a cuddle.
But too much man-handling can make them overwhelmed and irritable. So, it’s really important that you limit the amount of time that people are holding and passing the baby or pup around.
You’ll also need regular downtime. As a new mum, you’ll likely be tired from the birth and the sleepless nights ever since. So, carve out time for you and don’t be afraid to tell people when enough is enough!
Christmas usually involves a lot of planning, shopping, gift wrapping, cooking, and socialising. But this year, since you've got a new baby, cut yourself some slack. Christmas with a new baby is tough!
We mums are the worst for piling the pressure on ourselves. Allow yourself to take this Christmas off from your usual festive duties. You’ll be glad you did.
This is how well my Christmas shoot went with Ruby.....Nailed it ;)
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